Telemarketing

DEFINITION of 'Telemarketing'

The act of marketing goods or services to potential customers over the telephone. Telemarketing may either by carried out by telemarketers, or increasingly, by automated telephone calls or "robocalls." The intrusive nature of telemarketing, as well as reports of scams and fraud perpetrated over the telephone, has spurred a growing backlash against this direct marketing practice.


Also known as telesales or inside sales.

BREAKING DOWN 'Telemarketing'

The United States and Canada have national "Do Not Call"(DNC) registries that give their residents a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. In the United States, the registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and enforced by the FTC, Federal Communications Commission and state law enforcement officials.


Consumers who are registered in the DNC database can file a complaint if they receive a call from a telemarketer, which could lead to a stiff fine and sanctions for the telemarketing firm. However, calls from charities, political organizations and telephone surveyors are permitted and would be received by a consumer, despite listing his or her phone number on the DNC registry. Also permitted are calls from businesses with whom the consumer has an existing relationship, as well as those businesses where consent to call has been provided in writing.


In recent years, numerous North American firms have outsourced their telemarketing functions to lower cost jurisdictions such as India, Mexico and the Philippines.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Dialing and Smiling

    A telemarketing technique in which unsolicited, or "cold" calls, ...
  2. Outside Sales

    The sale of products or services by sales personnel who go out ...
  3. Financial Privacy

    A term used to encompass a wide variety of privacy issues. It ...
  4. Telephone Bond

    Bonds issued by telephone companies, or obligations of issuers ...
  5. Federal Telephone Excise Tax

    The federal telephone excise tax is a statutory federal tax on ...
  6. Telecommunications Consumer Protection ...

    A U.S. federal law created in response to increased consumer ...
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    How to Dodge Brokers Using Smarmy Sales Tactics

    Many finance professionals use illegal, high-pressure sales tactics to sell bad securities to investors. Here's how to know if you're being swindled.
  2. Professionals

    Work-From-Home Scams: How to Avoid Them

    Learning when a lucrative opportunity is – and isn't – legitimate.
  3. Retirement

    Elder Financial Abuse: Ways to Protect Yourself

    Learn behaviors and actions that will help you avoid becoming a victim of financial abuse.
  4. Entrepreneurship & Small Business

    In Small Business, Success Is Spelled With 5 "C"s

    Incorporating these steps will help your business thrive in a competitive market.
  5. Investing

    Cold Calling Vs. Networking

    Why networking is taking over from cold calling as the best way for financial advisors to grow their client base – and where cold calling fits in.
  6. Markets

    What's Free Enterprise?

    Free enterprise is the economic term used to describe an economy with very little government ownership or regulation. In a free enterprise system, competition and the preferences and choices ...
  7. Financial Advisor

    Financial Boiler Rooms Today: Real-World Examples

    High-pressure sales environments pitching inflated penny stocks or faux companies exist and cost investors millions every year. Here are a few examples.
  8. Markets

    Antitrust Defined

    Check out the history and reasons behind antitrust laws, as well as the arguments over them.
  9. Retirement

    Telephone Scams That Target Seniors

    The caller claims to be your grandson, who needs bail money...or an IRS agent demanding tax payments...or another fraudulent schemer. Learn their tactics.
  10. Personal Finance

    5 Warning Signs a Charity Is a Scam

    Giving to charities and helping those in need is admirable. Here's how to ensure your good intentions and donations aren't siphoned off by scammers.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Under the Telephone Consumer Act of 1991, a telemarketer must provide which of the ...

    The correct answer is d. All the choices except II are specific requirements of the Act. In addition, the law places time-of-day ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is a boiler room operation?

    In the context of investing, the term "boiler room operation" refers to the use of high pressure sales tactics to sell stocks ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the doctor advisory scam?

    U.S. securities law provides certain exemptions that allow privately owned companies to issue shares of unregistered stock ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do you know if a trade placed to a broker is confirmed?

    Learn how to check if trades placed with brokers online or over the telephone have been filled and confirmed. Explore different ... Read Answer >>
  5. What US banks offer the best savings accounts?

    Explore the best savings accounts offered by national banks comparing annual yield and other factors. Learn why the highest-yield ... Read Answer >>
  6. What are the most common scams regarding Social Security benefits?

    Learn about some of the most common Social Security scams that occur by phone, email and direct mail, and how to recognize ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center